Members of the public are invited to explore the many ways space science helps families, communities, and our nation better understand our home planet and become more climate resilient through hands-on and virtual activities during NASA Day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Saturday, July 2, on the National Mall in Washington.

“NASA explores our own planet Earth, using the unique vantage point of space to observe how our planet’s oceans, atmosphere, land, and ice work together as an Earth system,” said Karen St. Germain, Earth Science Division director at NASA Headquarters. “These observations grow our understanding of our planet’s changing climate. That understanding means the agency can deliver more actionable science to inform decision makers from global leaders to city mayors seeking to mitigate, adapt to and respond to those climate changes.”

Throughout the day, agency representatives will participate in various speaking events and activities. In addition, NASA will host a free, public exhibit featuring information about science, live demonstrations, and other family friendly activities.

The following is a list of activities taking place throughout the day (all times Eastern):

2 p.m. – Sustainable Seafood

Lawrence Friedl, associate director of NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Program, joins chefs and other speakers at the Foodways Kitchen to discuss how NASA Earth science data is used by anglers, farmers, and decision-makers to support sustainable practices.

3 p.m. – What is Sustainable Food Production?

NASA satellites play an increasingly important role in monitoring crops and their environmental conditions. St. Germain will moderate a panel discussion with leading subject matter experts, including John Piotti, president of American Farmland Trust; Jack Algiere, director of agroecology at Stone Barns Center; Seth Goldman, co-founder of PLNT Burger; and Mark Allison, a nationally renowned chef. The panel will stream live.

3 p.m. – Oysters and NASA

What does NASA have to do with the ocean? Find out at the Foodways Kitchen as we discuss the intersection of oysters, the Chesapeake Bay, and NASA.

The following events will be ongoing:

  • The Pocket Cinema will showcase NASA videos that dive into the science behind the global temperature record, explore the world’s remote poles, and describe how agency data is used to support food security. The video playlist is available online.
  • Join team members at the People Powered Science station with family-focused, hands-on demonstrations of Earth science observations and emerging technology, linking NASA’s global research directly to our backyards and neighborhoods.  

A full schedule of events and more information about the festival are available here.

NASA’s vantage point from space gives the agency a unique view of our home planet. For more than 50 years, agency satellites have provided open-source and publicly available data on Earth’s land, water, temperature, weather, and climate.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science programs, visit: